Prosecution: A Despicable Profession (Will Grigg)
Monday March 17th, 2014
Prosecutorial misconduct is ubiquitous, in large measure because it is almost impossible to hold a prosecutor accountable. Last year, South Carolina State Supreme Court Justice Donald Beatty gave a speech in which he took note of the rampant and well-documented abuses by prosecutors in his state.
Judge Beatty warned that his court “will no longer overlook unethical conduct, such as witness tampering, selective and retaliatory prosecutions, perjury, and suppression of evidence. You better follow the rules or we are coming after you and will make an example.”
In response, 13 of the 16 prosecutors across the state have demanded that Beatty recuse himself on criminal cases coming out of their districts.
Writing in the Washington Post, Radley Balko points out that in Santa Clara County, California, a corrupt prosecutor sought to boycott a judge who had disciplined her for misconduct, and also sought to restrict the power of the state bar to discipline prosecutors.
As Balko notes, cases of this kind across the country demonstrate that “prosecutors just don’t want to be held accountable by anyone but themselves.”
As I’ve said before: If you don’t despise prosecutors, you’re not paying attention.